It’s rather rare for someone who just landed to not crib about how difficult it was to sit crammed into a seat in the aircraft for so and so number of hours or how annoying it was to have to think twice before you ordered something. Word of mouth; it matters. But some of the Airlines which use Social Media are doing good for themselves and are getting a lot less cribbed about on the whole. Sounds unreasonable? By the end of this article, it will not.
Almost every field has its doors open for Social Media and it is being adopted by every business with a lot more expectation and social media platforms, in fact, seem to fulfill these expectations right up to the brim. The recent reports have mentioned that social media and the aviation business integration seems to be rising and it is estimated that over the next two years, 75% of the airlines will be using social media.
The relationship between Airlines and Social Media began not too long ago but the commitment to this relationship has taken airline companies to their zenith.
Airlines on Social Media do not generally get to strive much for numbers- the number of followers, likes or favorites. This is an advantage. Although airlines often prove to have some of the most interesting and impressive results, it is not easy for them to have a happening and worthwhile Social Media presence. Either it is just useless or making your presence felt would take considerable attention. It needs attention but with that attention you need to follow just the right knacks to get paid off.
Let me first justify why the customer support is quite a challenging task for the aviation business:
- Issues like flight cancellation, bad weather reports , delays and many other issue keep popping up from time to time.
- Such issues leave airline companies with a lot of unsatisfied customers and severed relationships.
Here is how you can use Social Media if you manage an aviation business
Real time responses improve customer satisfaction:
Airline companies can prevent these bitter relationships by trusting Social Media’s listening tools to pay attention to what their customers have to say about them and to them.
Your response in real time will reflect the sense of responsibility you have towards your customers. The following two examples of SpiceJet and Indigo are great examples of keeping your customers abreast about the latest happenings.
24 x 7 Presence
Customers will not appreciate being troubled if they have paid you for something. Have a bunch of your team members or experts answer customer queries on Social Media platforms like Facebook/Twitter since everyone has access to these social networking sites round the clock.
This is how JetAirways is making its Social Media presence meaningful:
Online Reputation Management:
In case of cancellations and delays, it is inevitable to stop your customers from giving a negative feedback about your services on Social Media platforms. One negative feedback and you have just lost some of your potential customers. But there is always a way out.
Be responsive to the feedbacks/ comments and to all that people have to say about you. Turning your back to them it is not an option here, unless you are planning to shut down altogether.
Offer deals/ discounts to attract customers:
Offers on Social Media attracts a lot of customers. They might be flying with you because you had shared this offer. This is how AirIndia came up with its discounted airfare on its official Facebook page.
Well, on a non-serious note, I have this picture here for you. That will save me and you a lot of words.
What do flyers use social media for?
Flyers use Social Media before the trip while selecting airlines, reading up feedbacks from past flyers and checking air fare deals/discounts.
How Can Airlines Use Social Media For?
To make announcements, to offer instant and satisfactory replies to customers and to make their presence heard and felt.
This infographic (it is slightly dated, but still relevant to some extent) by SimpliFlying gives you an idea how airlines in the west are allocating resources to Social Media. Probably Indian airlines can adopt some of the insights from this.
Social Media is making huge deals for airline companies. It is not really mandatory to spend hefty human resources to have a decently maintained Social Media presence. It’s about the balance that needs to be maintained and the selection that needs to be done of integrated and dedicated resource allocation for the Social Media presence of your brand, not to mention it does make a difference.